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What is an impacted fracture?

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Quick Answer

An impacted fracture is a bone fracture in which the parts of the broken bone are driven toward or into each other by force, according to WiseGeek. This type of fracture often occurs as a result of a fall or an impact.

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Full Answer

In some impacted fractures, the bone is broken into several pieces that are driven together, notes WiseGeek. This type of fracture may be more difficult to set and may result in a longer healing time than other, simpler types of fractures.

Impacted fractures generally occur when extreme force is applied to both ends of a bone, explains the Texas Orthopedic and Spine Institute. Landing on one's feet after a fall may cause such a fracture in the leg. This type of fracture occurs more frequently in children than adults, states WiseGeek.

To ensure that an impacted fracture heals correctly, a doctor usually performs an X-ray to locate all of the fractured bone fragments. In impacted fractures, the bone may need to be decompressed to allow all of the pieces of bone to return to their proper locations. Severe impacted fractures may require surgery or the insertion of rods or pins to help hold the bone in place while it heals, explains WiseGeek.

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